On this episode of Spark: Bursts, Shallows, and Game Changers. Download the MP3 (runs 54:00).
You can also listen to individual stories below.
This summer, the Canadian Little League Championships take place in Ancaster, Ontario. And this year, there's a technological twist. Instead of traditional pencil and paper scorekeeping, officials will use iPhones to score the game. The electronic scorekeeping system is called GameChanger. Nora talked to CEO Ted Sullivan about GameChanger, and to sports columnist and dad Scott Radley about the professionalization of amateur sport. (Runs 10:27)
Albert-László Barabási is the author of Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do. In it, he set out to explore whether our behaviour patterns are random, or whether they can be predicted. What he found is that our daily behaviours, things that we might think we do spontaneously, follow a precise set of mathematical formulas or laws. (Runs 11:57)
Every now and then, a verbal tic creeps into the culture. Millions of people begin to say "like" or "awesome" or "groovy." It's just how culture goes. But sometimes these tics can tell us something larger about the culture, and that would seem to be the case with what appears to be the latest tic in the English-speaking world: the word "so," and more specifically, the word "so" as the sentence-starter of choice, in sentences where it would not traditionally have belonged. Spark columnist Anand Giridharadas has given that little word some thought lately. (Runs 7:03)
Have you ever worried that you're losing the ability to follow a long, sustained narrative in a book? Early on in his new book, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, Nicholas Carr describes experiencing exactly that. Are our online reading habits changing the way we think? (Runs 18:32)